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Venice attacks suspect charged with rape, torture and attempted murder

Victim in harrowing Venice Canals attacks speaks out
Victim in harrowing Venice Canals attacks speaks out 03:16

Los Angeles County prosecutors charged the main suspect in the horrid Venice attacks with several crimes, including rape, torture and attempted murder. 

"We are deeply outraged and appalled by these incomprehensible brutal sexual assaults committed against these two innocent survivors," District Attorney George Gascón said. "Such despicable acts have no place in our society and will not be tolerated."

In total, the District Attorney's Office charged 29-year-old Anthony Francisco Jones, described as transient by police,  with seven felonies:

  • Two counts of forcible rape
  • One count of sexual  penetration by use of force
  • One count of mayhem 
  • One count of torture 
  • One count of attempted murder 
  • One count of sodomy by use of force

Prosecutors said Jones kidnapped multiple victims and inflicted great bodily injury during the alleged sexual assaults. Gascón described these attacks as "the most heinous sexual assaults" he's ever seen. 

Jones will be held without bail. If charged, he will face life in prison. 

Two of the alleged attacks happened on the night of Saturday, April 6, near the Venice Canals. Investigators said Jones knocked both women unconscious with a hard object before sexually assaulting them. Gascón said Jones kicked one of the victims and stood over her throat after she regained consciousness.

Both of the women, who are in their mid-40s and mid-50s, suffered significant injuries. One of them is still in a coma.

"I think he tried to kill me, tried to choke me and tried to knock me out," 54-year-old Mary Klein, one of the victims, said. 

Klein's mouth had been wired shut after the attack. More than a week after the attack, she still has bruises healing on her face and neck.

One of the victims, Mary Klein suffered significant injuries. Doctors wired her mouth shut after she was brutally attacked.

Resident Kate Evans helped start a GoFundMe for Klein, who is a caregiver to her mother.

"It's unspeakable that it happened," Evans said. "When it happens to an angel like Mary, you just want to make sure that she has all the love and support that she needs."

Detectives tracked Jones to San Diego and arrested him last Thursday night. 

"Sexual assault and sex crimes in any form are abhorrent and intolerable," LA County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath said. "Our hearts go out to the survivors of these egregious acts, whose lives have been forever altered by the trauma they endured."

Jones is expected to appear back in court on May 15. 

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